Community

Planetarium

 

 

Free Shows Will be Presented Online
on Friday Evenings:

7 p.m. “Night Sky” Program

8 p.m. Feature Show

May 3 show — "Great Ground-based Observatories" — Three pivotal observatories of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

May 10 show — "Solar System Survey Part 9: Kuiper Belt and Beyond" — The Kuiper Belt and the Oort cloud of icy debris.

May 17 show — "Astrophotography 101" — Guest lecturer David Pinsky shares tips for capturing the night sky.

May 24 show — "Competition for SpaceX" — Who are the new space race competitors?

May 31 show — NEW SERIES: Deep Sky Deep Dive: “Supernova” — First show explores how stellar death became human life. 

See below for show details.

Thanks to the generosity and vision of the late John Drescher, Santa Monica College is the home to a computerized planetarium theater. At its heart is the Evans & Sutherland Digistar II planetarium projector, which was the first of its kind on the West Coast. Using digital technology, audiences can fly beyond the solar system and soar among the stars. We can transport you across our galaxy to the limits of spacetime. 

Planetarium this week

New free, live, virtual public shows!

Zoom link for May/June Friday night programs

Invitation links to the live online events are generally posted the Thursday before. These programs are only available LIVE on Friday evenings, and on the occasional Matinee dates, normally Sundays. Clicking on the Zoom links at other times will not work.

Please scroll down beyond the calendar for notes on upcoming 8 p.m. programs

We also look forward to the expanded capabilities of the new planetarium and observatory SMC is building for opening in winter 2025.

Jim Mahon
Senior Planetarium Lecturer

Upcoming Planetarium Shows

See All
Shows are presented live online until further notice.
Jun 21
The Night Sky Show

The Night Sky Show

7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Online
Jun 28
The Night Sky Show

The Night Sky Show

7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Online
Jul 5
The Night Sky Show

The Night Sky Show

7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Online

Comet NEOWISE over Mount Shasta

Weekly Night Sky Show

The Night Sky programs will last roughly 30 - 40 minutes, followed by a short question and answer period where guests can type questions into a chat box and we will answer as many questions as possible. There will be a short intermission at approximately 7:50 p.m. prior to the start of the Feature program at 8 p.m.

Feature Programs

Note that all 8 p.m. feature programs are preceded by the 7 p.m. “Night Sky” program described above.

Currently all presentations are online ONLY, with the exception of occasional observing programs. 

May 3: “Great Ground-based Observatories” — Planetarium Lecturer Sarah Vincent. Tonight’s show explores three pivotal, ground-based observatories of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Mt. Wilson shaped modern cosmology, Keck Observatory searches for exoplanets, and Vera C. Rubin will search for dark matter.

May 10: “Solar System Survey Part 9: Kuiper Belt and Beyond” — Planetarium Lecturer Sarah Vincent. Tonight’s exploration of the solar system takes a look at its outer reaches — the Kuiper Belt and the Oort cloud of icy debris.

May 17: “Astrophotography 101” — Guest Lecturer David Pinsky — Avid astrophotographer David Pinsky shares skills and tips for capturing breathtaking images of the night sky.

May 24: “Competition for SpaceX” — Planetarium Lecturer Jim Mahon — SpaceX has set the bar for relatively low-cost space flight. Can Boeing, ULA, and others catch up?  Who are the new space race competitors?

May 31: NEW SERIES: Deep Sky Deep Dive: “Supernova” — Planetarium Lecturer Sarah Vincent. When Carl Sagan said, “We are made of star-stuff,” he was not just waxing poetic; he was stating a fact. Launching the new Deep Sky Deep Dive series, tonight’s show shines light on how stellar death became human life.

Location of Planetarium (Currently closed)

Drescher Hall, 2nd Floor
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Campus Map

The Drescher Planetarium is located in the middle of the second floor of Drescher Hall on the north side of the Santa Monica College campus. Drescher Hall is the three story brown building on the South East corner of Pico Blvd. and 17th Street. We are in Santa Monica, south of the 10 (Santa Monica) Freeway and west of the 405 (San Diego) Freeway.